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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity Archives

Please, Think Twice about Passing out the Bible Tract

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22) I ran across a bawdy joke the other day that is definitely not the thing one shares with acquaintances or distant […]

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“Foreigners” Are God’s Children, Too

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16-17) As a Christian […]

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Walking in the Dark

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, a friend sent me this Bible verse from Isaiah 50:10: “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? “Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of […]

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Four Important Men You’ve Never Heard of

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Depending upon our interests, those of us who live in the world of mass media can rattle off names of note in the sports arena, TV land, cinematic Fantasia, network “news,” political affront, musical medley, or the religious circus, er, circuit. So […]

“If I Leave Church, Will I Lose My Friends?”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many people, the one thing that stands between their leaving a church situation that is not working for them, or staying within and being unhappy, is friendship. Understandably, wherever we spend our time is where we make friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and […]

The Inadequacy of Corporate Prayer

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Although it’s been years since I’ve been in a regular church situation, I can still conjure up the feelings of dread I felt at “prayer time,” sitting around a circle (we’re told it’s “intimate”) and sharing details about our lives. The worst part was […]

What If You’re Too Timid to Be “Bold for Christ”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I became a Christian at 19. For the first 25 years, I diligently attended church services, which means that I came into regular contact with Christians comfortable in that setting, and for the last eight years, I have been transitioning […]

The Discipline of God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Discipline is an ambiguous word, easily misunderstood because its two major applications are so at variance with one another. In a good sense, discipline is what athletes do — training their bodies to achieve top performance through practice, hard work, persistence, […]

Some Days, We Feel Pathetic

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Just outside our dining room window is an extremely pathetic nectarine tree. Actually, when it comes to producing nectarines, it’s phenomenally successful. With its lack of leaves, hollowed out inner section, and floppy branches, however, it projects a wretched state of […]

Free Yourself from Bible Study Myths

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Why won’t you attend Bible study?” a man asked me once. “Do you hate studying the Bible?” Seriously, when you get a question framed like that, it’s best to just talk about the weather. The person asking will never understand […]

Improving Your Meditation Skills

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Meditation is one of those words with multiple meanings, and some Christians are frightened by the concept because they think that meditating involves emptying their minds completely and allowing outside spiritual forces to fill the vacuum. (Interestingly, this is a good description of what happens when […]

Are We Being Bullied to Think a Certain Way?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Think of the term, Judeo-Christian values. We bandy it about, especially we Christians, and the idea is that, because Jews and Christians share a common heritage (the Old Testament, and Abraham as our collective father), we should support one another, without question […]

Five Steps to Achieving Your Impossible Dream

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Sixteen years ago, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I had an improbable dream: we wanted to find a place in the country and raise our kids there. I say improbable because 1) we had four kids and 2) we […]

Feeding Marshmallows to Our Minds

posted by Carolyn Henderson

When I was growing up, I heard the mantra, “You are what you eat!” all the time. It’s not said so much these days, which is ironic since much of what we eat is grown with pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides; […]

Should You Question Authority?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Should you question authority? You bet. Generally I avoid words like “should,” “ought,” and “must,” because they are frequently misused to manipulate people into doing things that they don’t want to do, as in, “You should go to Sunday School.” […]

Three Encouraging Thoughts to Get You Through the Week

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Not everyone’s Monday is actually on Monday. But regardless of what day your week starts, it’s highly likely that it’s not a smooth transition from your day off to your day on. This low point of our week, when we grab […]

Do You Long for the Love Christianity Promises?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

This weekend I enjoyed the company of three out of four of my adult children. It is impossible for me to describe to you how much I love these four progeny of mine — whenever I talk to them, play […]

Once You’re Awake — Now What?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The other day, I found myself in the middle of a church picnic. It was totally unintentional, and I’ll tell you the story someday, but the upshot is, I was chatting with a safe woman from the group, when I tossed out […]

Near Death Experiences — Don’t Fall in Love with Them

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Did you read the book?” “Nope.” “See the movie?” “Nope.” “Then what makes you think you can have an opinion on the matter?” I grew up in a family of scientists, where not having a PhD in a discipline (and most 13-year-olds […]

The Kingdom of Heaven — How Do We Get There?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

How to get to heaven is a piece of information that from the beginning of time, humanity has wanted to know. The rich young ruler of Matthew 19:16 – 29 (Mark 10: 17 – 30, Luke 18: 18 – 30) […]

The Power of Doubt

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Doubt is not so much a sin as it is a problem, and like most problems, it’s best to solve it, as opposed to letting it be a part of our continued existence. Too often, when a Christian asks a […]

False Leaders, Speaking in Our Name

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our younger years, prior to children, the Norwegian Artist and I traveled through and lived in South America, where our most fervent hope was that we would be thought to be Canadians, Danes, Australians, or anything other than Americans, […]

When Our Dreams Never Come True

posted by Carolyn Henderson

From the time we are schoolchildren, we are regularly assured, “You can be anything you want to be. Just dream it, and it will come true.” Do an Internet search on “following your dreams” and you’ll come up with everything […]

Sometimes, Normal Is Abnormal

posted by Carolyn Henderson

As Christians, we are exhorted to be “in the world but not of the world.” (John 15: 19, Romans 12: 2) This is far more difficult than Liking, or Sharing, a Facebook meme. Too many Christians are convinced that they no […]

Praying for Something BIG? Five Points to Ponder

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We serve a God who does impossible things. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, had a baby when she was 90 years old (Genesis 18, 21). The Israelites escaped the Egyptians by walking through the parted Red Sea — with the pursuing Egyptians drowning when […]

How NOT to Pray

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Prayer is one of those topics that is always in fashion. It doesn’t really matter whether or how you believe in God — even atheists these days aren’t amiss to tapping into the spiritual world, and in the name of science (or scientism), […]

How to Pray

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many years, I learned how to pray by watching and emulating other people. Now frequently, learning from others is valuable: as a knitter, I have sat side by side with novices and walked them through what to do with two little sticks […]

What’s So Bad about a Comfort Zone?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you haven’t heard the term “comfort zone,” then you must never attend church. Or work in a cubicle. Or listen to politicians. Comfort zones — that area of life where we operate, well, comfortably because we understand our circumstances, […]

If You’re Not Jewish, Why Do You Act as if You Are?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Because someone, somewhere will be quick to take offense, let’s waste the first paragraph of this article by stating that I have nothing against Jewish people, and if you are Jewish, I’m glad for you. I’m not out to convert […]

When You Can’t Take It Anymore

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t know about you, but I have been in particular life situations that go on so long, with so little change, that I simply want to give up. Only, I can’t. I mean, what am I supposed to do: […]

“We Have Worms!”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I was on the last hour of a boring, four-hour drive when I passed one of those stores that sell everything: gas, Chinese food, Pepto Bismo, tax preparation services, and on the reader board they proudly announced: “We have worms […]

Angry Jesus: I Don’t Want to Follow Him, Either

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I ran into a statement the other day that knocked me back on my fundament (isn’t that clever? I managed to not use the words, “butt,” or worse, “ass,” and thereby avoided offending anybody). The discussion had to do with […]

Me. Me. Me. And oh, You too, Lord

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Like many rural dwellers, we own a number of cats, most of which are “working kitties” that keep the rodent population down and out. They enjoy twice daily meals of fresh goat milk and an occasional visit to the Manor, […]

Jesus Isn’t All You Need — He’s All You’ve GOT

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a social situation, somebody asks you how you’re doing, and since the most significant event in your life lately has been the loss of your job, or the diagnosis of a serious […]

Salvation Is Free. Our Time Is Not.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Too many Christians have a thing about the word “free.” When it comes to the free gift of salvation that Jesus willingly hands us, we’re convinced that there’s a catch somehow, and it seriously can’t be as easy as it […]

Don’t Worry: It’s NOT All up to You

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Pretend, for a moment, that you’re a horse. Not an old plug, swaybacked and ugly, so derelict that nobody even wants you for free. I mean, seriously, God loves you as his beautiful, precious daughter or son, so once in […]

“God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.” Yuck.

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Okay, let’s find a Bible verse. Ready? “God helps those who help themselves.” I’ll give you a few minutes to look, but to save you time, you’ll find it in 2 Obligations 13: 36,  right before the “Cleanliness is next to […]

Nasty, Biting — Unintentional — Things We Say

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Want to make a positive change in your world, today? It’s fast, it’s easy — okay, so it’s not necessarily socially convivial — but it involves nothing more than saying a simple sentence, along the lines of, “Wow. That was […]

Who’s Your Guru?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Before the world of Facebook, we’d find ourselves at a bridal shower, say, and The Person in Charge of Embarrassing Games generally began with something innocuous, like, “List your five favorite books about sex,” or, if this were a church […]

Who are YOU to Speak for the LORD?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Any time you stand up, stand out, or do your hair in a different style, people notice. Some individuals are really good about it, saying things like, “Cool hair. It frames your face well,” or, “That style’s . . . […]

Previous Posts

Spiritually Dead Christianity
"Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, whom God has hedged in?" Job 3:23 We live in a time when evil men prevail. Perhaps it has always been this way, but more discreetly. Those who are awake look around and see political leaders who ...

posted 1:20:10pm Jul. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Must We Pray for Our "Leaders"?
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Scrolling ...

posted 1:35:44pm Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Fat Cat Christians -- Why Do We Keep Feeding Them?
"He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away." (Job 5:13) Years ago, when my husband the Norwegian Artist attended a private, Christian school, one of the major benefactors of the institution dropped in ...

posted 1:47:04pm Jul. 17, 2015 | read full post »

What Does "Real" Church Look Like?
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another." (Hebrews 10:25) What does "Real" church look like? Those of us who have given up on traditional, weekly meetings in a ...

posted 12:13:24pm Jul. 15, 2015 | read full post »

The Comfort Zone Myth
"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed." (Luke 8:16) God has a plan for your life. Do people still say that? [caption id="attachment_1737" align="alignleft" width="353"] Our journey with God will take us new ...

posted 1:01:34pm Jul. 10, 2015 | read full post »

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